The widely spread concept of desire often includes those of lack and need, even when the person’s will is considered: “I strongly desire this” often means: “I can’t do without it”.
Instead, according to the self-empowerment approach it is key to distinguish between needing and desiring. These two are often perceived as overlapping concepts and therefore not so easily distinguishable.
By “desire” we mean something referring to the concept of increase, to the idea of mobilizing some “extra” energy that elicits a feeling of pleasure rather than feelings of need and urgency. In some ways we could say that the more we desire, the better we feel; the more needs we have, the worse we feel.
However, some of the features of desires make them frailer and more demanding than needs, with the result that we may end up putting them aside:
- Desires can more easily be put off and postponed if compared to our needs
- Desires are demanding, they often require a change of direction as well as the willingness to run some risks
- Desires are intimate, extremely subjective, and sometimes they are not easily “confessed”
These are some of the reasons why, with time, we unlearn to listen to the voice of our Desiring Self, while, at the same time, overrating that of our Needing Self.